Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Girl, You'll Be Drinking A Coca-Cola Soon (Neil Diamond Coke Jingles)

I remember a long time time ago, when such things seemed really important to me, having a debate with a friend of mine over whether there there was some objective criteria for calling music "good" or "bad." My friend's opinion was that there were objective grounds for making such statements, even if he lacked the ability to articulate the criteria explicitly. He pointed to music that appeared in commercials as an example of music that is "objectively bad." My own take was that there was no defensible objective criteria for judging music. In my view, there was only power. I argued that those with access to power have historically been able to subject their notions of "good" and "bad" on those with less access to power. "Taste" in my view was nothing more than an instrument of social control, and I viewed championing music judged to be in "poor taste" as a heroic act of resistance against a repressive society. (You see, I couldn't just like Cat Butt and Mudhoney because they rocked out righteously, there had to be some deeper reason.)

In retrospect I can see that both arguments are hopelessly naïve. But I also think a better rejoinder to my friend would have been to play these Coca-Cola jingles by Neil Diamond, because they're awesome.

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